Frank Babb

Author & Adventurer

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“Rebound” a novel by Michael Goodell

I just finished reading a new detective story novel Rebound by my former neighbor Michael Goodell who now spends most of his time in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, or at the family vineyard in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I still count him as one of the Tucson authors you should read.

For most of my life I’ve been addicted to this genre of fiction. My mother and my schoolteacher aunts, whose real jobs were entertaining me during the summer, must have had the same disease because about the time of World War II I discovered a shelf in our library with books by Agatha Christie, A Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett, and S. S. Van Dine (pseudonym for Willard Huntington Wright) who became my favorite because his detective, Philo Vance, lived in New York City and spent his summers on the Mediterranean or in the Middle East pursuing his archeological interests. After reading a couple of Van Dine’s books I was ready to sign on as his unpaid boy-Friday. My parents said I could go if he’d take me on, a way of getting rid of me during the summer so they could spend more time with my new brother. But that’s a separate story I’ve told you in an earlier blog.

Back to Rebound. I should warn you it’s difficult to put down once started. The descriptions of the geographical sites where good detective stories take place are a necessity for me: London and environs for Christie and Doyle, Los Angeles and environs for Chandler, San Francisco for Hammett, and New York for Van Dine. For those of us who don’t know Detroit, Goodell provides a good introduction to the city, its current problems, and the people who live there – Grosse Pointe in particular.

Our protagonist is private detective James “Corky” Corcoran, hard-boiled, down-and-out, and a loser in romance. The women he loves get killed, marry someone else, or involve him in life threatening danger. Corcoran is almost a Grosse Pointer but couldn’t quite fit in enough to be liked by his elite contemporaries or to marry Deborah, a member of an aristocratic Grosse Pointe family, whom he loved and who loved him. Among his best acquaintances while growing up in Grosse Pointe were the young members of the Wade family, true aristocrats: Justin, Jonathan, and Jessica, who drowns as a child. Justin becomes a major player in Detroit business, finance, and politics. Jonathan becomes a drug addict. Justin marries Deborah.

After he and Deborah part ways, Corcoran becomes a successful private detective until a divorce lawyer engages him to sort out the finances of Olly Jensen, husband of his client Sara. During this assignment a relationship develops between Sara and Corcoran, ending when he finds her murdered, a crime Corcoran is accused of committing. Although he’s cleared of the crime, Corcoran’s career plummets and he spends increasing amounts of time with his “friend” Jack Daniels. Ten years later Corcoran receives a late night call from Deborah. We learn who Corcoran’s friends really are and what happens. A lot does, including rebounds!

Goodell’s earlier novel Zenith Rising is a story about what’s happening in Detroit today and the people who are making, or causing, it to happen. I recommend it, too!

6 Responses to “Rebound” a novel by Michael Goodell

  • Mary Sasse says:

    Thanks for the book tips, Frank! I’m an avid reader of detective novels, too, especially when I have just a little time to kill (waiting for planes, people or whatever) and want to be completely absorbed! I’m looking forward to reading about Grosse Pointe, too, since I went there often when #4 daugther lived there years ago.

    Right now I’m in the midst of reading every thing I can find about Robert M. LaFollette, once the Governor of Wisconsin, a U.S. Senator and a candidate for President (he lost; Teddy Roosevelt won). He also lived with my great-great grandparents for a couple of years in Argyle (WI), a tiny little town. When I was growing up, I used to hear stories about him (some true? some not?) and want to verify the stories. Some good leads, but I’m still looking for another book published in 1966 about his early years.

    Here’s to readers everywhere! Fondly, Mary S.

    • Frank Babb says:

      Thanks for the comment, Mary. For another good airport read, please see my comment to Howard Crist earlier today about the “The Chinese Woman:the Barbados Conspiracy” and my review of it in Amazon.


    • Frank Babb says:

      Howard and everyone else I confused by my comment a few minutes ago:

      When I responded I was thinking of Brian Cox’s spy-thriller The Chinese Woman: the Barbados Conspiracy that I reviewed recently in Amazon. For those of us who enjoy this genre or were amateur practioners of spy graft, it’s a must read.


  • Frank Babb says:


    When you read this book, you’ll be jealous of the “fun” we could have had with 21st century technology and self-defense techniques. But even if we’d stayed in, we’d be retired or dead by now. Think how much fun one can have with a pistol made of plastic and other materials that won’t show up on the screen because it looks like something else. Do we really think a terrorist would try to board with a regular gun? Are we just spending millions on gate inspections to apprehend a gun freak who forgets to take his weapon out of his pocket and is then apologized to for the “stupid” government’s not honoring his right to live with his “heat”?


  • kirt gardner says:

    Thanks, Frank.
    Will add to my Kindle.
    Sounds like my kind of book.
    Will be on lots of airplanes during June.

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I'm Frank Babb, author, traveler, and adventurer. I look forward to connecting with you!

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